Mark Tooley - March 31, 2010
During the 1970’s and 1980’s the Geneva-based World Council of Churches (WCC), to which hundreds of Protestant and Orthodox communions belonged, routinely espoused pro-Soviet and anti-Western stances. It even funded Marxist guerrilla groups. Critics assumed that the WCC was simply naively captive to Liberation Theology, which tried to exchange salvation for class warfare and revolution.
But a new book by a Bulgarian author reveals that the KGB and its Bulgarian intelligence affiliate exploited the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for direct influence on the WCC and the Conference of European Churches. In “Between Faith and Compromise,” Bulgarian historian Momchil Metodiev chronicles how the Soviets and their Bulgarian proxies employed the Bulgarian Orthodox and WCC to promote Soviet strategic goals globally.
“Participation of the Bulgarian church in ecumenical organizations was not inspired by the idea of interdenominational dialogue and co-operation,” Metodiev reported amid his book’s release this month. ”If, in popular perceptions, state security is classified as a state within the state, then the ecumenical activity [conducted by Soviet bloc representatives] could be classified as a church within the Church,” wrote Metodiev, who has researched Bulgarian communist archives for the Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson Institute in Washington, D.C.